Experience Tuscan art and history without having to compete with crowds of tourists during this relaxing half-day visit to scenic Lucca.
The massive red brick walls that enclose Lucca shelter this medieval city away from traffic and the modern world. Inside, the well-preserved ancient Roman street plan features fascinating streets, squares and narrow lanes. Unlike several other cities in Tuscany, Lucca is flat, and many locals use bicycles for transportation, adding to the Old World charm of this unique city.
You will depart the pier for the drive to Lucca, founded by the Romans in 180 B.C. Upon arrival, you'll begin your walking tour of the city. Accompanied by your local guide, you will see the massive red brick walls built between 1504 and 1645, and among the best-preserved Renaissance-era defenses in Europe. Continue on past the Church of San Michele in Foro, which stands on the site of the ancient Roman Forum. The splendor of the church's exquisite Pisan Romanesque façade rivals that of St. Martin's. You will pass by the Guinigi Tower, one of many in Lucca once belonging to the Guinigi family, rulers of the city in the 15th century. Next, you will proceed to Anfiteatro Romano, once the ancient Roman Amphitheater, and today enclosed by Medieval houses built against its walls.
At the Church of San Frediano, you will marvel at the striking façade that features a 13th-century mosaic. Inside, the splendid Romanesque font and beautiful frescoes offer wonderful photo opportunities. Visit the chapel where the revered Santa Zita is interred, then take a tour of the Church of San Martino. This extraordinary cathedral features a lovely façade of St. Martin, and houses the Volto Santo, a 13th-century wooden effigy, believed by Medieval pilgrims to have been carved by Christ's follower, Nicodemus, at the time of the crucifixion.
At the conclusion of your tour, some free time will be made available for shopping or browsing around Via Fillungo, Lucca's principal shopping street, which winds its way through the heart of the city towards the Roman Amphitheater.
Please note: Most of the shops are closed on Sundays and on Sunday morning there are services in some of the churches. This tour involves approximately 2 hours of walking mostly flat areas but some cobblestone areas and also includes approximately 10 steps to climb.